Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood


Science Fiction

Oryx and Crake Oryx and CrakeMargaret Atwood; Nan A. Talese/Doubleday 2003WorldCat

Snowman believes he is the last human being alive of the original Homo sapiens. Nearby live the Homo sapien sapiens. They are humans who have been genetically altered to survive peacefully in an extremely harsh environment. To them, Snowman is the representative of their creator, Crake, and his partner, Oryx.

Only Snowman knows what has happened to the people in the world, what caused the catastrophe. The climate has been changing for years, heating up, flooding, and making Earth treacherous for humans. Plus society has divided into two distinct parts. There are the scientists and geniuses sealed into compounds, making more inventions, finding more ways to increase necessary supplies like food and medicines. They can go out into the plebelands where the rest of mankind lives, but it is dangerous for them. The compounds had a heirarchy among themselves as well.

Snowman needs supplies. He prepares to trek into the now dangerous compound where he lived with Crake. His memories from childhood through the end are going through his mind. This novel tracks his memories and intertwines them into his present. Snowman’s sights, thoughts, and interactions are recorded as they occur. Atwood then threads in the memories, slowly leading the reader to the place where everything comes together.

I found this book to be excellent. I looked forward to when I could pick it up again. Atwood skillfully takes the reader down her path. I wanted to know what really had happened between Snowman and Crake. How does Oryx fit in?

Since much of the story focuses on adolescent to teen age boys in the near future, there is a lot of pornography mixed in their lives. This is described to the reader, but not in detail. There are other sexual situations as well, including the unusual mating habits of the new Homo sapien sapiens. The language also gets rough, but nothing most modern day readers are not used to in any mainstream novel. The same with the violence in the book – there but not detailed or out of the ordinary.

If you like Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll probably like this as well. I highly recommend this novel.

Notice: Strong indecent language, Suggestive dialogue or situations

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